There are countless reasons why it is important to encourage kids to become and stay active. An active lifestyle truly benefits all aspects of their young lives including sleep, self-image, and interpersonal skills.
It is recommended that children be active for at least 60 minutes each day. It all adds up so it can be cumulative and spread out over the course of a full day. But, still, making exercise a priority for kids is, at times, easier said than done.
How can you support your child’s health and well being by getting them moving everyday? Below you will find some clever ideas from an expert in this department.
Set a Goal:
Adults know to use this strategy when they train, so it should hold up that selecting and working toward a goal works well for kids too. Girls on the Run is based on a 12-week season which culminates in its own 5K race. This race distance has become an inviting option as a whole family event. Try it, train with your child and race as a family. If your child is not participating in Girls on the Run, there are countless other area 5Ks he or she could run in.
Make it Fun:
With children, there is no need to make running stressful or competitive– focus on the fun. Make running about play rather than winning. When the atmosphere is one of support, kids will want to work hard to meet their goals. And, when they are having fun it is hard to see running as work. That is where the magic lies!
Build in Adventures:
Running can incorporate some of the highlights of DC. Elyse takes some of her runners along the Georgetown Waterfront, across the Key Bridge to touch the Welcome to DC sign, or up the Exorcist Steps. The goal is not to break them, but to show kids where running can take you. Keep the distance short and the fun big!
Show Your Kids Your Passion:
Getting children involved in sport when they are young helps build lifelong habits. One especially cool thing Elyse has seen as a coach is when the girls inspire their parents to become runners. Parents that want to buddy run with their girls also get motivated to train and complete the 5K themselves.
When it comes to getting and keeping your own kids active, Elyse has some news that should make parents feel pretty happy: it is often as easy as showing your kids your own passion. When your kids see you take the time to exercise and take care of yourself they see that fitness matters. Being active as an adult makes you a good role model for them– they see you participate everyday and will likely find their own way to fitness as they grow older. Amen to that!
Pacers Fairfax has an awesome selection of shoes for kids. Just like your own feet, the right shoes make all of the difference for kid runners too. Check out the latest that Pacers Running has to offer so you can get your kids moving and make a date for a family run. Keep it fun; keep it joyful, keep everyone active. You will see a difference in your family and that is super cool.
By Heather Jeff